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Tesla, Panasonic start rolling out electric car cells

Las Vegas: Panasonic said that Tesla’s giant battery factory in Nevada has started producing the cells that will be built into the firm’s future electric cars.

The lithium-ion cells, which Tesla is manufacturing with Panasonic, are part of the Gigafactory that will produce 35GWh per year of cells by 2018.

Joseph M. Taylor, chairman and CEO of Panasonic Corporation of North America, said that production at the factory had started and would play an important role in how electric cars are produced in the future.

The Gigafactory is not the only collaboration between Tesla and Panasonic. The two companies have announced that they would work on a New York production facility to make photovoltaic cells for solar panels.

Panasonic will reportedly invest more than $256 million (Dh940 million) on the installation of production equipment at the plant in Buffalo. The factory’s output will expand to 1 gigawatt by 2019.

Meanwhile, Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America announced the introduction of the Panasonic Cognitive Infotainment platform designed to provide OEMs and fleet providers a set of cognitive vehicle solutions combining Panasonic’s market leading infotainment expertise with IBM’s Watson and cloud technologies.

The platform leverages Watson cognitive capabilities, including deep natural language processing and understanding, to answer questions and provide recommendations as well as directions while en route.

Tom Gebhardt, president, Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America, said that Panasonic Automotive was looking to push the boundaries of what in-vehicle infotainment systems might mean to tech-savvy and time-constrained travellers when the company approached IBM.

“Working together, we are creating an enhanced set of cognitive capabilities that can give drivers and passengers a superior, more accurate, just-in-time in-vehicle experience while allowing them to keep mobile,” he said.

Panasonic Automotive is building on Bluemix, IBM’s cloud platform, which enables access to Watson APIs including conversation, natural language classifier, text-to-speech, speech-to-text and personality insights.

At the evet, Panasonic also signed a deal with Walt Disney Parks & Resorts to announce that Panasonic Projection Imaging Systems will be the official projection technology of Disney’s North American theme park properties, including the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts and Disney Cruise Line, and unveiled its new camera — Lumix GH5 — capable of recording 6K photos and 4k videos.

The camera can capture 4K 60p/50p video, and 6K photo at 30fps. The GH5 features a 20.3-megapixel sensor versus the 16.05-megapixel sensor found on the GH4.

Other features include Bluetooth 4.2, WiFi, a 3.2-inch rear display, and a rugged design for field use. This model will be available starting from $2,000 (body only).

Source: Naushad K. Cherrayil, Staff Reporter, gulfnews.com